Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne has leapt to the defence of beleaguered Indian legend MS Dhoni, following criticism of the wicketkeeper-batsman during the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Dhoni's future in India's limited-overs teams has been the subject of speculation for more than a year but the issue has been heightened by a relatively lean run from the right-hander with Rising Pune Supergiants.
In five innings to begin IPL10, Dhoni has made 61 runs at 15.25, though there have been glimpses of his brilliance, including one monster six during his cameo of 28 in Saturday's clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has led the criticism of the 35-year-old.
"I am not too sure if Dhoni is a good T20 player," Ganguly told India Today last week.
"He is a champion ODI player but when it comes to T20 cricket, in 10 years, he has got one fifty and that's not the best record.
"I will pick Dhoni for the Champions Trophy but he has to score runs."
Warne and Dhoni never faced off in international cricket but the Australian was strong in his view that the 'keeper-batsman, who led India in a record 60 Tests as well as to the 2011 World Cup title, remained "a wonderful player in all formats".
"Dhoni does not have to prove anything to anyone," Warne tweeted.
"He's class and a wonderful player in all formats.
"MS is also a great captain and inspires!"
Dhoni was demoted from the captaincy of Pune for this season's IPL, with Steve Smith preferred, while the veteran has already been linked with a return to Chennai Super Kings for the 2018 tournament; he spent eight years with the franchise before they were suspended for two years for the alleged involvement of their owners in the 2013 IPL betting case.
Pune currently sit sixth on the ladder with two wins from five matches, and they next host Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.